The Pedagogy of Real Talk

The Pedagogy of Real Talk
Engaging, Teaching, and Connecting With Students at Risk

Foreword by David Osher

© 2016 | 208 pages | Corwin

For students at risk, Real Talk means real results!

To successfully teach struggling students, connection and trust come first. Author Paul Hernandez, a former student at risk, is now a nationally recognized, award-winning educator and trainer. His Real Talk is a practical methodology that helps education professionals build rapport with students while creating learning experiences that are relevant…and life-changing. The results are transformed classroom and school environments, engaged students, and higher achievement.

The Pedagogy of Real Talk guides readers through every step of implementation. They will

  • Develop an understanding of the education research and theories that underlie the Real Talk approach
  • Learn the how-to’s for implementing Real Talk with any group of learners
  • Benefit from case studies and lessons learned

Real Talk is the smart, inspiring action plan that can help you make a difference in your students’ school experience, from your first classroom conversation to graduation day.

“This book should be required reading for any educator (future, present, or past) who is dedicated to giving voice to students who have become marginalized by our current educational practices and society as a whole. By creating a culture in which students feel safe exposing their own hopes and fears and discussing their realities, we have real opportunities to establish content and context connections that lend relevance to our students’ learning.”
Rich Hall, Principal
Henrico County Public Schools

“Most of us really do care about our students, and especially our at-risk students. But we’re out of ideas for how to work with students who don’t want to be in school, don’t want to engage, won’t do the work—students who don’t want to learn. In this book, Paul Hernandez gives caring teachers a useful tool for connecting with at-risk students and for reaffirming that, deep down, they really do want to learn, after all.”
Scott Hollinger, University Professor and Instructional Coach
Teachers College, Columbia University

Foreword by David Osher
About the Author
1. Introduction
Students at Risk  
The Reseacher  
The Pedagogy  
2. Real Talk
The Theoretical Foundations of Real Talk  
Refinement of the Pedagogy of Real Talk  
The Pedagogy of Real Talk and Other Approaches  
3. The Students, Their Experiences, and the Academic Results
Inception of the Case Study  
HEP Student Participants  
The Results  
4. Implementing Real Talk in the HEP Program
Relating to Students  
Appropriate Pace  
Maximized Engagement  
5. Flexibility, Adaptability, and Effort
6. Terministic Screens and Real Talk Discussions
Terministic Screens  
Real Talk  
7. Dealing With the Exceptions
The Case of PB  
The Case of Jessie  
The Case of LB  
The Challenge to Teachers  
8. Implementing Real Talk in Any Classroom
9. The Training of Teachers
The Basic Components and Foundations of the Pedagogy  
Connections Through Real Talk  
Another Real Talk Example  
Maintaining Connections  
10. Training: Alternative Lessons
Alternative Lesson Examples  
11. Training and Feedback
12. New Beginnings
Key features
  • This book provides practical tools to engage at-risk students.
  • It contains profiles of the subjects involved in the case study to allow readers to understand the types of students for whom this pedagogy has worked.
  • The book describes how individual teachers in a variety of subject areas have implemented the pedagogy, including sample lessons and real talks used to do so.

Sample Materials & Chapters


Chapter 1

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ISBN: 9781483377117

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